Monday, September 29, 2014

Three Year Anniversary

  The summer went so fast, I didn't even realize we were approaching Sabrina's Crossing's third anniversary. It came and went quietly, without even a nod.

  Admittedly, I haven't been as in-tune to my blog as I was in its first two years, but I am working to keep it part of my daily/weekly life.

  So here we are, 245+ posts later. I wanted to highlight some of my highlights: the posts that have been the most well-received by you, the reader, and the posts I am most proud of writing.

  Take a look!

Top blogs (five of my top most-viewed posts):
  1. "Whether you think you can, or you think you can't -- you're right" -- Our self talk.
  2. Nike Fuelband Review -- A summary of Nike's Fuelband.
  3. Children in Crisis: Kids & Our Food System -- How US advertisers target children.
  4. M&M Analysis: Altered Recipes in Europe Remove GMO -- Changing recipes and labeling food. 
  5. Running Down A Dream: Cope's Journey to the NBA -- My friend's, Chris Copeland, road to the NBA.
My personal favorites:
  1. Allow Me to Introduce Myself -- My first blog ever. 
  2. Little Eyes Upon You -- Being a role model. A reminder that kids look up to us!
  3. Following Your Passion -- How a shy, homebody became a professional basketball player in Europe.
  4. Italy: My Rookie Year -- Bumps and bruises during my first year as a pro.
  5. Do You Know What GMOs Are? -- Introducing GMOs to my readers.
  6. Love for Luleå -- Why the Frozen Tundra is a pretty cool place.
  7. My First French Carnival -- The pride of Dunkerque on display.
  8. No Redos, No Regrets -- My last game as a Colorado Buffalo.
  9. From Rookie to Veteran -- My growth as a person and as a player from year 1 to year 10.
  10. The Walk to End Alzheimer's -- The first year of Papa's Team, and why I wanted to get involved with Walk.
  It's fun to go back and re-read some of the stories I've shared with you all, and always fun to reminisce. 

  As I mentioned above, I'm still working to keep my blog relevant in my life as a non-basketball player -- always a work in progress. 

  Thanks, always, for reading, and for holding me accountable!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Walk to End Alzheimer's Recap -- Year 2

Walk day with Papa's Team.

  Two Sundays ago -- Grandparents Day -- the Portland Alzheimer's Association hosted their annual Walk to End Alzheimer's.

  As you may know, for the second straight year, I organized a team in memory of Papa -- my grandpa -- who we lost in 2009 to Alzheimer's after a 12 year bout.

Papa's Team, By the Numbers
  Thanks to you, Papa's Team raised $660.00. We landed a couple bucks short of last years numbers, but all in all I think we did a great job fundraising for a worthy cause.

  We had 14 total donors, many of whom were repeat donors from last year's team -- I can't thank you enough for showing an interest, contributing money, and helping out!

  Money raised from the Walk goes directly to funding care and support services, along with research efforts by the Alzheimer's Association.

Post-walk treats -- Mom and Nana.
Walk 2014
  Walk day participants for Papa's Team were down to three -- me, my mom, and Nana. But over the last several years of Papa's life, I remember many a-day spent -- the three of us and Papa. So it kind of seemed right to be with my mom and Nana on this day, remembering Papa.

  This year's walk was very similar to the year prior, even down to the hot, sunny afternoon on the race track. The Portland Chapter does a great job of making Walk more than just a 2+ mile walk around a race track. There's music, a car show, a kids' playhouse and food.

Purple flower for Papa.
  It's an afternoon event that an entire family can enjoy as they're raising awareness and money for those affected by Alzheimer's.

  What stood out again to me this year, as it did last, was the Promise Garden. Depending on how Alzheimer's has impacted your life, you're given a corresponding colored flower pinwheel:
  • Blue represents someone with Alzheimer's or dementia.
  • Purple is for someone who has lost a loved one to the disease.
  • Yellow represents someone who is currently supporting or caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. 
  • Orange is for everyone who supports the cause and vision of a world without Alzheimer’s.
  As walkers neared the finish line, we were allowed to 'plant' our flower. The garden that resulted from all the flowers makes for a very memorable image, representing the reach Alzheimer's has.

Portland Walk By the Numbers (all unofficial, as things are still being counted)
  • Total Raised: $270,836.25
  • Total Teams: 341 
  • Total Walkers: 3,688
Pre-walk festivities.
Get Ready for Next Year
  As I promised last September, I hope to continue to make Papa's Team a yearly presence in Portland's Walk to End Alzheimer's. So mark your calendars!

  Many of our families have been affected by Alzheimer's in some way, so I'm happy to be able to raise awareness for the disease, and for the Alzheimer's Association. 

  And again, I'm so grateful for everyone who contributed, and helped me honor Papa in a small way.

  Thank you!

Mom and I on the racetrack.